A two-day consultation meeting on "Drug Menace in Manipur" resolved to take urgent action in specific areas witnessing increases in cultivation of poppy, commercial production and consumption. It stressed on the need for better coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders in tackling increasing substance abuse in the state successfully.
The resolution was taken at the "Second Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on The Drug Menace in Manipur" programme, which was organised by the 3.5 Collective at Hotel Imphal Classic, North AOC, Imphal, on Tuesday.
The objective of the Consultation is to make Manipur strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. To the end, the collective has been vigorously sensitising the grassroots communities, conducting multi- stakeholder consultations, policy engagements and filing strategic litigation in the High Court and the Supreme Court of India on the issue of justice and accountability.
On day 2, two panel discussions were held on the topics ‘Drug User: Victim or Criminal of Drug Menace’; ‘Role of Society in Responding to Menace of Drugs’ and a Group Work to (a) develop state indicators for SDG number 3 target 5, (b) to strengthen enforcement of NDPS ACT, c) defining “victims” of drug menace and d) developing road map to eradicate poppy plantation.
The discussions were participated by legal experts, social activists and concerned stakeholders.
Some of the key issues of day 2 of the consultation were: the need to change the traditional perspective towards drug users as criminal to “victims”, to address the drug menace in Manipur as public health issue instead of criminal justice issue, sensitization and involvement of local authorities for effective response to drug related cases, identify factors contributing to drug abuse in Manipur and relentlessly campaign to curb drug menace from the state.
The meeting highlighted the astronomical increase in poppy cultivation in the hills of Manipur and the negative consequences on public health, environment and demographic challenges due to illegal influx of alien populations. It resolved to take urgent action in specific areas witnessing increases in cultivation of poppy, commercial production and consumption.
The two-day consultation ended with the consensus on the need for better coordination and cooperation from all the stakeholders in making prevention and treatment of drug abuse effectively. After duly discussing the various thematic issues the findings and recommendations were handed to a working group to finalise the recommendations tomorrow.